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Michael Wood's selection of Dostoevsky's shorter works is drawn from the timeless translations of Constance Garnett whose work, he says in his preface, gives readers the best of several worlds.
Oscar Wilde claimed that Humiliated and Insulted is not "at all inferior to the other great masterpieces" and Friedrich Nietzsche is said to have wept over it. Its construction is that of an intricate detective novel, and the reader is plunged into a world of moral degradation, childhood trauma and, above all, unrequited love.
Uncle's Dream is a humorous drawing-room novella, a satire of Russian society that can be enjoyed as a lighter counterpoint to the author's later works.
Here presented in a brand new translation by Hugh Aplin, The Eternal Husband shows Dostoevsky at his best as a ruthless dissector of the quirks and foibles of the human character
The House of the Dead, here presented in a brand-new translation, is based on Dostoevsky's own autobiographical experiences during a four-year internment in a prison colony in Siberia.
Inspired by Gogol's surreal tales, Dostoevsky's hilarious story has been interpreted by some as a vitriolic piece of social criticism and a veiled attack on the revolutionary philosopher Nikolai Chernyshevsky.